Happy Birthday Nintendo Game Boy, But You're Responsible For The Worst Album Ever
'We Punk Einheit!' is the most pointless and wretched record I have ever heard.
As entirely separate entities, the majority of us would probably agree that the Nintendo Game Boy (which turned 25 years old this month) and Alec Empire (who turns a bit more than that in a few days) are both good things. The simple joys of the Game Boy are a part of the shared heritage of most people between 20 and 40, while Alec Empire has also been entertaining us since the early 1990s with his mix of crazed stage presence, firebrand hard-left politics and great tracks under his own name, his band Atari Teenage Riot, and a wide variety of other aliases.
Two rights sometimes make a wrong however, and that's what happened when these two good things briefly came together in 1999 to produce the inexplicable, inexcusable We Punk Einheit!, which Empire released on his own DHR label under the name Nintendo Teenage Robots.
Created solely using a Nintendo Game Boy, it included absolutely no giddy, Input 64-style chiptune euphoria, nor any of the thrilling aural punishment that DHR more normally meted out on the regular during the late 90s. Instead, we got 26 agonising tracks of inspiration-free bleepery-pokery, enlivened only by the record's hilarious cover claptrap about there being some sort of Mods vs Rockers Game Boy scene war in Berlin:
"Two movements attacking each other with the sound of static bleeps. One Game Boy scene is putting up exhibitions at art galleries – overproduced melodic Game Boy songs with reverbs and delays. The other scene is called 'Out' and is doing abstract futuristic cold atmospheric dance parties at disco clubs. A different sound: Game Boy straight into DAT or CD recorder...Alec Empire is involved in the second [scene]."
Riiiight. Here, then, is my lovingly assembled track-by-track retrospective of what is presumably the "Out" scene's Sgt Pepper's; otherwise known as the most pointless and wretched record I have ever heard.